What's Cool In Road Cycling

New Year EuroTrash!

Happy New Year everyone and as it’s Thursday we can’t miss out on our EuroTrash cycling news catch-up: Video from the Azencross, Peter Sagan, Tour Down Under and GCN, plus music for Dowsett’s hour, Luca Scinto stands down and news from Tinkoff, Giant, Lampre and Astana. Have a great 2015.

TOP STORY: Good-Bye Scinto?
According to tuttobici.com Luca Scinto will not be a DS with the Neri Sottoli team in 2015. His name is not on the team’s list with the UCI and he confirmed that he will not be working with the Italian ProConti team.

At the moment Neri Sottoli team is suspended from the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible until the next annual general meeting, planned for October 2015 and will have to suspend itself for one week if one of its riders violates anti doping rules before August 7th, 2015. This is all stems from the three EPO positive cases of Danilo Di Luca, Mauro Santambrogio and Matteo Rabottini in the last year and a half.

Scinto said in the interview: “I’ve decided to take a step back, it’s something I’ve been thinking about since September. I feel bitter and disappointed. I don’t have the enthusiasm to talk to the riders. I’ve gone from being considered a good DS to being considered an idiot. That’s led me to losing my enthusiasm.”

The team will probably receive a ‘Wild Card’ invite to the Giro d’Italia and maybe the resignation of Scinto will help the teams reputation.

Giro d'Italia 2012 stage 18

header-bpost-trofee14Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross – Loenhout 2014
On Tuesday Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) won round 6 of the Bpost Bank Trofee in Loenhout, Belgium. He beat Sundays Super Prestige winner in Diegem; Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) by 37 seconds and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) by just over 2 minutes. He also extended his overall lead in the Bpost Bank Trofee on Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) to 4:45, with in Kevin Pauwels in 3rd at 4:46 and Meeusen 4th at 4:48.

The course was very wet due to the recent snow, so there was a lot of mud, which caused a lot of running. Van Aert and Van der Poel jumped away on the second lap for the intermediate sprint, where Van Aert took 15 seconds bonus ahead of Van der Poel. Meeusen was 3rd at 9 seconds taking the 5 second bonus at the head of the chasers. On the 5th lap Van der Poel made a mistake on a corner and Van Aert managed to take advantage of the situation to distance the BKCP-powerplus rider. From then on Van Aert held off Van der Poel as the others lost even more time. At the finish Van Aert had time to make a small bow to the crowd. Meeusen held off Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Jan Denuwelaere (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) who were just ahead of Pauwels in 6th.

Race winner Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace): “The victory and an improved classification, it was a fantastic day. It was a really hard course today. My goal was to defend my classification and improve it if possible. On a course like this that’s a unique opportunity. Mathieu was the perfect road companion who wanted to race. Nevertheless, I had to ride when the pace dropped because I rode for the classification. I expected to fall short in the final laps. Still, I managed to keep up the pace in the two final laps, whereas he somewhat faded, I think. It’s a big gap and that should not go wrong. Baal (Thursday) will still be a tough race, a sufferfest. Hopefully I can round things up in my hometown Lille. The cold only affected my feet. The rest of the body was warm enough on a course like this.”

Belgian champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) finished an encouraging 8th: “I had a lot of power in my legs but didn’t dare to go flat out in the final lap. The result wasn’t important. What mattered was making progress. Finishing on the podium in Baal would be great.”

Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross – Loenhout Result:
1. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace in 1:04:02
2. Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus at 0:37
3. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 2:01
4. Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 2:17
5. Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace
6. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 2:20
7. Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 2:24
8. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink at 2:25
9. Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace at 2:36
10. Vincent Baestaens (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus at 3:01.

The ‘Laatste Ronde’ (last lap):

header-lottosoudal15Lotto Soudal to Tour Down Under
Lotto Soudal will ride the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under – which takes place from 20th until 25th January – with a new title sponsor and a team of riders wanting to stamp their authority on the event.

Hansen to defend KOM title: Australian and crowd favorite Adam Hansen returns to defend the Subaru King of the Mountains classification he won at this year’s event. The Willunga Hill climb will again see the riders fight it out for mountain honors on the Queen Stage, that’s stage five. The departure of André Greipel from the line up for the Santos Tour Down Under sees an opportunity for one of the young riders to establish themselves at the race and make their mark in Australia. Newcomer in the team Thomas De Gendt will make his fourth appearance at the race. Also Hansen and Henderson know the race well due to repeat appearances and would know what to expect within the regions.

Sports director Herman Frison: “We are delighted to be returning to Australia once again and to the Santos Tour Down Under to introduce our new sponsor to the fans and show the strength of our team. We are aiming for a good overall general classification with any number of our riders, as all have the ability to make an impact on the race.”

Selection Lotto Soudal:
Lars Bak, Thomas De Gendt, Kenny Dehaes, Gert Dockx, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson and Boris Vallée.
Sports director: Herman Frison.

Adam Hansen, 2014 Tour Down Under KOM:

header-astana-leftAstana for the Tour Down Under
Astana are sending five of their new riders to the Australian WorldTour race in January. Luis Leon Sanchez is the best performer in the team as he is a former overall winner (2005), twice second and two stage wins. The Spaniard will be joined by Lars Boom, Dario Cataldo, Laurens de Vreese and Davide Malacarne, all five are new to the Astana team. The other two riders are Ruslan Tleubayev and Lieuwe Westra.

Race director Mike Turtur said: Sanchez has a good history with our event, as well as taking the overall victory in 2005, he also claimed the Young Rider Classification that same year. It has been a few years since he has taken to the start line in Adelaide but his history here includes second overall in both 2006 and 2010, so we can’t wait to see him compete. Sanchez is a four time Tour de France stage winner and a four-time Spanish Time Trial Champion. He is an accomplished rider, making him a strong leader for the team and someone we hope will perform well.”

Astana Team for the Tour Down Under:
Luis Leon Sanchez, Lars Boom, Dario Cataldo, Laurens de Vreese, Davide Malacarne, Ruslan Tleubayev and Lieuwe Westra.

Luis Leon Sanchez:

header-tinkoffsaxo14-leftTinkoff-Saxo Thanks its Sponsors and Partners for their Continued Support
As the year 2014 draws to a close and the start of the exciting and promising 2015 season is a mere three weeks away, Tinkoff-Saxo thanks its sponsors and partners for their continued support. Without their commitment, the team wouldn’t have been able to thrive and score a number of high-caliber victories in 2014.

A strong team requires the backing of strong sponsors and commercial partners and no less than 39 companies and groups formed part of the sponsor, partner and supplier lineup of Tinkoff-Saxo during the year 2014.

Without the continued engagement of these commercial partners, from the two main naming sponsors, Tinkoff Bank and Saxo Bank, to the smallest technical supplier, Tinkoff-Saxo wouldn’t have been able to deliver the prominent performances in 2014 that culminated with Alberto Contador’s victory in the Vuelta a España.

Stefano Feltrin, CEO of Tinkoff-Saxo, commented: “The effects of the financial crisis are still being felt throughout the world and the professional sports business isn’t immune. However, Tinkoff-Saxo is as solid as ever and we look forward to the start of the 2015 season, thanks to the strong support of all ours sponsors, partners and suppliers.

Their continued trust in us is a proof of the commercial value they see for their brands from associating with one of the most famous cycling teams in the world. I would like to thank them for that and I am sure we will strive to provide even more value in 2015 and 2016.

Every single member of Tinkoff-Saxo is ready and eager for the 2015 season. On January 9th, most of our riders will embark on their second training camp of the season while 10 days later, Michael Rogers will spearhead our seven-strong squad in Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under.

With the addition of big-name riders in our roster, I’m sure the following years will be exciting for Tinkoff-Saxo and the sport of cycling.”


header-giantalp15Sunweb Strengthens Plans for international Growth with New Team Giant-Alpecin Partnership
International online tour operator Sunweb teams up as large co-sponsor with Team Giant-Alpecin while aiming for international growth.

From the 2015 season onwards, Sunweb will join the newly rebranded Team Giant-Alpecin as an important partner of the team. The online holiday company looks to increase its already expanding international presence in the holiday industry by being present in the highest tier of cycling and to be a part of the continuing growth of the sport.

As a large, successful and well-known online tour operator in several key European countries, Sunweb is currently rolling out its strategy for future growth across Europe. The corresponding and well-planned marketing approach to support that strategy will, amongst others, be centered around the activity of cycling.

Sunweb’s Head of Marketing, Nicolette Burger explains: “The connection between our international marketing activities and the activity of cycling is based on three pillars.

“A large and diverse part of society is regularly in touch with cycling, in different ways and for different purposes. That group has an interesting overlap with the target group for our product, holidays; consumers who are into cycling are more interested in holidays than the average person. This isn’t so strange when you look at the fantastic imagery that is broadcast during WorldTour cycling coverage. Cycling is a very accessible way of enjoying your surroundings.

“We care about our customers and always wish to reach out to them via the activity of cycling because this activity represents fun, it’s healthy, you can enjoy nature, and it connects people. And as a sport it’s challenging to do or it generates pleasure and even passion amongst the viewers when watching. We therefore see a great match between the associations of cycling and the associations of the brand, which we want to communicate.

“Due to volume and characteristics of the reach of international cycling, it supports our efforts to strengthen our brand recognition and preference across Europe for Sunweb.”

Sunweb’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Joost Romeijn, underlines the match between his organization and the team: “Although in different industries, the similarity between our two organizations is truly remarkable. Both industries in which the team and Sunweb are active are about passion and emotions, and both organizations are built on very similar and well-anchored principles and performance models. The team’s “Keep Challenging” elite sports approach, based on the continuous development of the athletes, the staff and the organization and as a result developing and building the team from its core, perfectly matches our vision to expand Sunweb’s business. It’s like two organizations but one spirit.

“We are looking forward to developing this new relationship, embracing the activity of cycling and being present with this team in the WorldTour. We see this partnership and the way how we plan to exploit it as a great tool to further strengthen the synergy between our product, holidays, and our expanding target group.”

Team Giant-Alpecin founder and general manager Iwan Spekenbrink commented on the new partnership, saying: “It needs no explanation how excited we are about this partnership with Sunweb. We can only be very impressed by the smart and intelligent processes which make Sunweb’s operations so performant and reliable and consequently guaranteeing its clients a great service around one of the most beautiful products that can be offered, holidays.

“We are extremely thrilled that cycling in a broad sense and our elite sports team in particular are amongst the driving forces of the international marketing strategy of such an absolute first class brand, Sunweb. Sunweb’s large commitment enables our team to continue our mission, to expand our opportunities and to keep pursuing our dreams.”

Sunweb and Team Giant-Alpecin have agreed on a two year partnership as a large co-sponsor with the clear intention to continue that partnership in the period beyond 2016.


About Sunweb:
Sunweb is an international tour operator and currently one of the largest travel companies in the Netherlands. Annually, Sunweb organizes summer holidays for around 900,000 customers to various destinations like Turkey, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Egypt. More than 90% of the bookings are done online through www.sunweb.com. Besides the Netherlands, Sunweb also operates in Belgium, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and the UK. Sunweb is part of Sundio Group International GmbH and has around 200 employees and 350 hostesses in the different destinations.

Herman & Marina go to Turkey:

Lampre Merida Team f_chiariGanna, Young Talent Scouted by Lampre-Merida
LAMPRE-MERIDA have once again demonstrated the attention towards young talent especially in the Italian cycling community.

Filippo Ganna, class of 1996 from Verbania (Italy), has been scouted by the blue-fuchsia-green team.

An impressive build with a height of 193 cm and a weight of 76 kg, Ganna is one of the most promising young Italian talents thanks to his excellent qualities as a time trialist and flat roads rider. The proof of his talent is shown with 4 victories in 2014 in the junior category, wherein the jersey of “Team Aspiratori Otelli Mastercrom”. One of these important victories being the Italian national time trial champion.

Filippo was part of the Italian national team both on road (with an excellent presence in Paris-Roubaix for juniors) as well as on track.

In 2015, this young talent will race for “Team Viris Maserati” under the close supervision of Team LAMPRE-MERIDA that will monitor his progression.

“This confirms the continuation in which our philosophy at Team LAMPRE-MERIDA shows the attention we put into scouting for young talent: with Ganna we continue our project which we are sure will bring interesting attention as it has done with the example of Bonifazio and Conti – as quoted by team manager Copeland – The qualities of Filippo shows excellent prospect with an enormous margin of improvement.
It is important to note that the skills of Ganna as time trialist and as classics of the North rider are a precious asset for the future of the Italian cycling.

Filippo will have all the tranquillity and space needed to work with his team in the Under 23 category, knowing however that he can find with LAMPRE-MERIDA a professional support in any way needed in order to share any advice and feedback, thanks also to the relationship with Doctor Carlo Guardascione, who’s our director of the medical staff and who has always been the doctor in the teams in which Filippo has always taken place.”

Filippo Ganna is very satisfied: “LAMPRE-MERIDA have always supported me in my cycling activity, giving me help by providing cycling material and good advices. Even if I’ve been contacted by other pro teams, the choice of putting my trust in the blue-fuchsia-green team was obvious and makes me very happy, also because the team always shown skills in the management of young riders.
In this year I’ll focus my attention on the activity of team Viris Maserati and I know I’ll have the opportunity to receive, in need, the support by LAMPRE-MERIDA.”

Filippo Ganna:

header-specialized-leftSagan on a Specialized
As it’s the 1st of January we can now see Peter Sagan in his new Tinkoff-Saxo (Camo) kit and on a Specialized bike, his steed for 2015.

header_movistar-leftThe Perfect Hour
Alex Dowsett will be going for the World Hour record soon and he has some music to go along with his (hopefully) perfect hour.

Chantelle – Perfect Hour (Produced by Daniel Carasco):

header-GCN-leftThe 2014 GCN Awards
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the results, delivered to you by Simon, Matt, Tom and Dan at The GCN Theatre (ahem).

Take a look at our new Instagram page for a live feed of #PeloPics, #DailyDistractions, and giveaways straight from your phone: https://www.instagram.com/pezcyclingnews


Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.


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